Originally Posted by kajero
I went riding on a beautiful paved bicycle trail which goes through mostly forested areas. But the gnats . . they drove me crazy. Several times it just seemed I ran into a wall of them! Does this ever happen to any one else?
Where I am (midwest US / St Louis area) they only come out in the late afternoon until a bit after sunset. I don't go riding during those times. Any other time of the day is good.
There are huge floating clouds of them hovering from 2 to 5 feet off the ground, and the cloud can easily be thirty feet across. They get in your eyes, nostrils and ears. Your hair and facial hair will catch a bunch too. If you're sweaty, they stick to you and they're so tiny that you just smoosh them all over you if you try to brush them off. The best way to clean them off is just ride home with them stuck to you, and then hose yourself off outside.
On an upright bike, your head is mostly above them. When I'm on my recumbent, everything above my waist gets covered
The only way to avoid the clouds is if you only ride on a busy street or highway--the gnats don't seem to like a lot of car traffic. I see people riding in the evenings on back roads around where I live, but I don't know how they stand it.